Van Winkles

267 Gallowgate


What is it? At the tail end of last year a new bourbon bar and BBQ kitchen specialising in in-house smoking of meats, opened directly across from The Gallowgate’s famous Barrowland Ballroom. This is the first venture in Glasgow for three friends who saw the need for an American-style offer for crowds looking to try something new before or after their gigs in the Barras, as well as the number of new folk discovering what lies east in this buzzing up-and-coming area of the city.

Verdict: With St Luke's and A’Challtainn now firmly established in the area and doing well, Van Winkles is a welcome addition to this growing and vibrant neighbourhood.

My office is right in the heart of the Gallowgate and I’m constantly in and out of places, and it’s brilliant to see them doing so well. You can feel an atmosphere here, things are changing for the better and continuing to grow, and when it comes to places to eat and drink and I can only tip my hat to the trailblazers that have kicked it all of.

Drink: There is a great selection beer and cocktails here but the star of the show is the American whiskey; the biggest selection in Glasgow, with over 80 different brands on show. As well as classic American Whiskey cocktails such as Sazeracs and Manhattans you can also try a range of Picklebacks, which on paper might not sound the tastiest but is a modern way of drinking whiskey.

This drink ritual became popular about 12 years ago in Brooklyn, New York and sees whiskey sipped alongside a shot of pickle juice. It is a Marmite way of enjoying a good whiskey but I personally love it and you urge you to give it a try.

Food: Dirty comfort food is probably the best way to describe the food found here, with favourites such as chicken wings, burgers and mac & cheese on the menu. Make sure to try the baby back ribs that are smoked in-house and super tasty. They have also went one step further in welcoming your four-legged furry friends and have a menu dedicated entirely to dogs. They can chow down on freshly made fish, pasta and veg.

Prices: The Gallowgate is a five-minute walk at most from The Merchant City where you will pay top dollar for food and drink. That is not the case here, and you will find extremely favourable prices. Of course you will pay a bit more in Van Winkles and St Luke's than in the more traditional pubs around here but you still get a bargain. Cocktails here start from £6.50

Children: The wee ones are more than welcome here and they will love the food as well.

Alfresco: Out the back of the bar is a small but perfectly formed beer garden which most of the day get the suns rays beating down on it. There is something special about sitting in the Gallowgate with a cold pint looking over the most famous neon sign in Scotland. It even has a Jack Daniels fire pit if you are feeling chilly.

Perfect for: Heading in before a gig at The Ballroom with friends for some dude food and a few beers and probably heading back in straight after for a few more.

Avoid if: You stick to your usual west end of city centre haunts and don't dare to venture east to visit some of the city's best food and drink venues